Girona boss reveals why he told players to man-mark Lionel Messi - but not Cristiano Ronaldo

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One of the biggest tasks for any La Liga team throughout the league season is, how do you cope with the two best players in the world when you play Barcelona or Real Madrid?

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have been virtually unstoppable during their time in the Spanish top-flight, with not many defenders laying claim to the fact that they have prevented them from being decisive.

Different tactics have been tried but every time, the two superstars seem to find a way to get into the final third and provide a goal or assist.

One new tactic that was implemented this season was by Girona when they welcomed Barcelona to their home ground.


Messi arrived in the game in stunning form, but was man-marked throughout the entirety of the fixture by Manchester City loanee, Pablo Maffeo.

It done the trick, with the Argentine nowhere near his influential best but, it meant that those around him were afforded a lot more space.

Barca ran out 3-0 winners courtesy of two own goals and a strike from Messi's partner in crime, Luis Suarez.

This weekend, Girona make the trip to the Bernabeu to face Real Madrid and the question was asked to their manager over whether he would implement the same tactic with Ronaldo.


Pablo Machin said he will not and explained the reason why he doesn't feel the Los Blancos star is worthy of such treatment.


"They are two very good players at two great teams, but from my point of view Barcelona have a greater dependence on Messi than Real Madrid do on Ronaldo," he said.

"So we'll have to focus on stopping all of them."

So if Machin was asked to weigh in on the Messi v Ronaldo debate, we know who he would pick.


He is also expecting a party atmosphere when his team make the daunting trip to the Spanish capital on Sunday afternoon.


"There hasn't been any reason for there to be so much alarm," he said in Saturday's press conference.

"I've been here for three and a half years and haven't felt anything worth commenting on.

"This fanbase is very respectful and civic and is excited about LaLiga football.

Real Madrid v Eibar - La Liga

"For us, it will be a party, given that one of the best teams in the world is coming.

"It's time to reflect upon our journey, so it leaves a bad taste that the discussion is about other topics."

Lionel Messi
Real Madrid
Cristiano Ronaldo
La Liga

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